Arrest of Trillanes aimed at silencing Duterte’s critics – Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch, an international nongovernmental organization, slammed the Duterte administration on Tuesday over the arrest of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on what it labeled as “trumped-up charges” of rebellion in connection with the 2007 Manila Peninsula seige.
“The arrest today of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is part of the persecution of critics of the Duterte administration, the latest in the relentless campaign to silence those who dared to challenge the president’s murderous ‘drug war’,” the group said in a statement.
It recalled the “demonization and eventual incarceration” of another staunch critic of the administration, Sen. Leila de Lima, who has been detained since February 2017 on charges of being invovled in the illegal drug trade.
“This started with the demonization and eventual incarceration of another senator, Leila de Lima, based on trumped-up charges,” it said.
The HRW noted Trillanes’ support for preliminary examination by the International Criminal Court’s of complaints against President Rodrigo Duterte related to his administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
“Senator Trillanes has proven to be the biggest thorn in the side of President Duterte,” the group said. “He criticized the ‘drug war’ killings and accused people in the administration — including the President’s own son — of corruption.”
Trillanes has been accusing Duterte’s son, resigned Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, of corruption.
“Trillanes’ arrest today sends a chilling effect among other critics of the Duterte administration,” it added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Branch 150 of the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch ordered the arrest of Trillanes in relation with his involvement in the Manila Peninsula siege, which took place on Nov. 29, 2007.
The court order came three weeks after the President issued Proclamation No. 572 revoking the amnesty given to Trillanes in 2010 by then President Benigno Aquino III. /atm
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